St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, October 13 - Thursday, October 20, 2016

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY'S

SATURDAY, 10/15 – No Vespers at St. Mary.

SUNDAY, 10/16 – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am.; Church School lesson 4

   + Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am in the library (next door to Fr. Antony’s office). Enrollment will be open until October 16, and is for non-Orthodox adults who are interested in exploring the faith of the Holy Orthodox Church. Bob Kowalik will be teaching the group. If you would like to participate, please talk to Bob during coffee hour; or contact the church (secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org; 617-547-1234).  For those seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church, participation in the group and Fr. Antony’s blessing are required.

   + This Sunday, the Teens will take a special collection to enable them to sponsor the 36th Annual Special Olympics Sports Camp, which is held annually at Antiochian Village.  Please be generous!

   + There will be a SPECIAL PARISH MEETING on Sunday immediately following Liturgy, to recommend to the voting members the implementation of certain new procedures ensuring Parish Council oversight of proposed expenditures over $500, excusing the pastor from discussion or proposals regarding his salary, and clarifying that members as defined in the Constitution may speak or vote in the meeting, with all others welcome to observe. You are urged to attend this important meeting.

   + The Young Adult group will go apple picking this Sunday after church, leaving at 12:30 pm.

   + Women’s Club Sfeeha order deadline is this Sunday. Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Pickup date will be Sunday, October 23.

MONDAY, 10/17 - The Women’s Club will meet Monday, October 17 at 7:30. All women of the parish are welcome to join them. The Women’s Club does charitable work both locally, nationally and internationally, and supports the Church School.  Call the church office (617-547-1234) if you have any questions or want to be a part of this wonderful group of women.

THURSDAY, 10/20 - The Bible Study group will meet next Thursday, October 20, at 7:00 pm in the church library. For more information contact Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). The meeting after this will be two weeks later, Thursday, November 3. New members are always welcome.

THIS WEEK ELSEWHERE

SATURDAY, 10/15 - Hellenic College Holy Cross is holding its Fall Open House on Saturday, October 15. Prospective undergraduates and graduate students are invited along with their parents for a half day of worship, learning and fellowship.  For more information visit www.hchc.edu/openhouse.

   + The American Arabic Benevolent Association will hold a fund raiser on Saturday, October 15, at 8:00 pm at Norwood High School. The event will be An Evening with Gina Dimia,  General Seating is $25. 

   + Theophany School will hold its 16th annual Benefit Evening, including Special Recognition of its Co-Founders, with cocktails, dinner, and a silent auction, on Saturday, October 15, at St. Demetrios Orthodox Church, Weston at 5:00pm. Tickets are $100. To learn more visit http://theophanyschool.org/news/events/16th-annual-benefit-evening  

WEDNESDAY. 10/19 - LYRA, an a cappella ensemble from St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia, will perform a Russian Vocal Music concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 95 Deerfield Ave., Westwood, on Wednesday, October 19, at 7:00 pm. The concert will be both Orthodox sacred music and folk songs from Russia.  A $15 donation is appreciated.  For more information go to www.stjohnswestwood.org.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS 

HELP MAKE SFEEHA - Please come to the church on Saturday, October 22, starting at 9:30 am, to help make meat pies with the Women's Club. Lots of help will be needed – young and old, women and men are all welcome - and it's always lots of fun.

SPAGHETTI DINNER – The teens invite you to a spaghetti dinner on Sunday, November 6, following Liturgy. The menu includes Spaghetti, Meatballs (just before the Nativity fast!), Salad, Bread, Dessert and Coffee/Beverage. Suggested minimum donation of $5.00/person will be greatly appreciated - no charge for Teen SOYO members.

FALL LITURGY RETREAT - Church School parents, teens, families (and friends) are invited to a St. Mary Fall Liturgy Retreat on Friday, November 11, 2016, from 12:30 - 6:00 pm. This year’s theme is “Christmas Traditions: The Liturgies of Christmas.” Come and explore the various ways that we ritually prepare and celebrate (i.e. “liturgize”) the Birth of Our Lord. The retreat will include baking projects and Christmas rituals, and will culminate with a celebration of the Slavic “Christmas Eve Supper” to which we want to invite families and friends) The Festive Meal will begin at 5:00 pm. Donation: $5/student, $10/family (Includes Supper, snacks and supplies). For more information and registration, contact Teva Regule or Doreen Bargoot.

BYZANTINE MUSIC FESTIVAL - The Fourth Boston Byzantine Music Festival wil be held Friday-Saturday, November 11-12.  Tickets and full schedule of lectures and workshops are available at www.Bostonbyzantinemusic.org . Sponsored by the Mary Jaharis Center at Hellenic College.

MESSIAH AT GROUP RATES - Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday afternoon, November 27, at 3:00 pm. Note: Tickets are just $23, because there are enough of us going now to qualify for group rates! We will carpool to (or meet at) Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together at a nearby restaurant before the concert. Those who have done this before have thoroughly enjoyed it - not only do we hear a world-class orchestra and chorus with famous soloists singing glorious words (taken directly from the Bible), but we also have an opportunity to spend time getting to know some fellow parishioners we normally may not encounter. Good seats go fast - please contact Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com.

REMINDERS

MEMORY ETERNAL: Mitch Bezreh - We regret to inform you of the falling asleep in the Lord of Mitchell Bezreh of Arlington MA on Friday October 7th, 2016.  Mitchell was the dear Husband of Shirley Bezreh and beloved Father of Nicholas and Carol Bezreh, Steven and Fiancée Susan Doyle, Susan and Brian Dooley and Mark and Robin Bezreh. He was the loving Gido of 12 Grandchildren.  He devoted much time throughout his life serving St. Mary’s and the church community.  Funeral services were held on October 12th with interment at Fairview Cemetery, Hyde Park.  Contributions can be made in Mitchell’s memory to St. Mary Orthodox Church.

YOUTH MONTH – October is Youth Month in our Archdiocese. Throughout the month of October our teens will be taking an active role in the Liturgy by helping with communion, taking collections and reading the Epistle. To get involved, please see Jack Souweha or contact the church (secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org; 617-547-1234).  

BAZAAR & FOOD FAIR - St. George Church will be having a Bazaar & Food Fair Friday-Sunday, October 21-23. Friday & Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 12pm-3pm. Address is 55 Emmonsdale Rd., West Roxbury.  Admission is free.  Middle Eastern cuisine, country store, crafts, kids’ corner and raffles. 

TEACHERS’ MEETING – There will be a special meeting for Church School teachers, assistants, and substitutes after Liturgy on Sunday, October 23, in the library.

WOMEN’S CLUB – The Women’s Club will be going out for a fun evening to the Cheesecake Factory in Chestnut Hill on Monday, October 24, at 7:00.  Any woman interested in going with them, please call the church office (617-547-1234) for more information.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Wednesday, November 2, at 7:30 pm.

COFFEE HOUR MADE EASY! - To make sponsoring a Coffee Hour a little bit easier, St. Mary’s is offering a delivery service through “Instacart,” for the basic foods necessary to host a Coffee hour.  Simply select a date, mail a check to the office and we will order the food and have it delivered to the church on that Sunday between 9:00 and 10:00 am.  You will need to be at the church to accept the order and you will be required to set up for the coffee hour and clean up both the kitchen and hall at the end of the coffee hour.  Two menus will be offered.  Menu one will include: bagels, mini muffins, fruit, hummus/Syrian bread, juice and coffee for $160.  Menu two will include: bagels, juice and coffee for $70. Prices DO NOT include a 20% tip for delivery and are subject to change based on current market pricing of items.  Cream cheese, peanut butter, jam and coffee creamer are included with each menu.  As usual, St. Mary’s will provide the plates, cups, napkins, utensils, serving platters, and sweetener for coffee.  If you are interested in taking advantage of this service and signing up for a coffee hour please contact the office at 617-547-1234 or e-mail secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

   + In addition to the sign-up sheet, our contact Barbara in the church office and the Instacart option, we also have Linda Arnold serving as our volunteer Coffee Hour Coordinator.  Please feel free to let her know of your interest and be open to hosting a coffee hour especially if you have not done so in the past.  She will be happy to guide you through the process!

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN 2017 PROJECT – The Antiochian Women of our Archdiocese have announced the theme of their 2017 Project: “Strengthening the Ministries of our Church.” The funds they raise this year will go to strengthen the following ministries in our Archdiocese: senior housing projects; founding missions; supporting seminarians; encouraging youth ministries; protecting the unborn; teaching the Faith; caring for the elderly and those in prisons, nursing homes and hospitals; helping to feed, house, and clothe the poor; and inspiring monastic vocations.

SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY

   Epistle: 

…. But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned. … And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful.

   - Titus 3:8-15

   Gospel: 

The Lord said this parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold." And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, "… The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience." As he said these things, he cried out "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

  - Luke 8:5-15

REFLECTION

The devil tries to soil and defile every good thing a man would do by intermingling with it his own seeds in the form of self-esteem, presumption, complaint, and other things of this kind, so that what we do is not done for God alone, or with a glad heart.

   - St. Symeon Metaphrastis 

Allow the Spirit of God to dwell within you; then in His love He will come and make a habitation with you; He will reside in you and live in you. If your heart is pure you will see Him and He will sow in you the good seed of reflection upon His actions and wonder at His majesty. This will happen if you take the trouble to weed out from your soul the undergrowth of desires, along with the thorns and tares of bad habits.

   - Evagrius of Pontus

It belongs to us ... to sow the seeds of virtue, but by God's gift and mercy alone the rain of His loving-kindness and grace falls and causes the unfruitful soil of our hearts to bear fruit. When the grain of the word falls on our souls it receives the moisture of God's goodness; it germinates, grows, and becomes a great tree (cf. Matthew 13:31-32), that is, it attains to mature manhood, to “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

   - St. Symeon the New Theologian 

As then it is His [God's] part to plant and to water, so it is yours to bear fruit: it is God's to grant grace, but yours to receive and guard it. Despise not the grace because it is freely given, but receive and treasure it devoutly.

   - St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Whoever bears fruit with works of faith and love, he is a real disciple of Christ.

   - Saint John Chrysostom